After what felt like an eternal winter, the sun is finally shining in State College once more. The birds are singing, the air is fresh and Penn State students have come out of hibernation for the most exciting time of the year. While the end of the semester might be accompanied by stress about upcoming finals and securing an internship, the unparalleled beauty of summer in State College is enough to turn your burdens to bliss. On April 29th, Penn State students will get the chance to celebrate the last day of classes at the Movin’ On music festival for the first time in three years. In true Happy Valley fashion, the return of the free festival will be nothing short of legendary.
The confirmation of Movin’ On’s long-awaited revival was enough to spark excitement among the State College community. However, the frenzy reached a fever-pitch when Penn Staters everywhere found out that the festival will be headlined by a star-studded ensemble featuring Jack Harlow, Aminé and Fitz and the Tantrums. VALLEY got the chance to sit down with the Executive Director of Movin’ On 2022, George Lewis, to find out more about the adventure that awaits.
When he was a freshman at Penn State, Lewis found out about Movin’ On at the fall 2018 Involvement Fair. Intrigued by the immediate sense of community, passion for artistic expression and drive to curate a uniquely transcendent musical experience for the Penn State community, Lewis was thrilled when given the opportunity to become a member of the organization. At the time, he had no idea what the future had in store for him. Almost four years later, Lewis says that his involvement in Movin’ On has given him some of his best friends, allowed him to tap into his creative potential and shaped his academic endeavors as well his professional pursuits.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Movin’ On hasn’t been able to produce an in-person festival since 2019. Though their team was still growing throughout the past two years, many of the organization’s current members haven’t had a chance to partake in program production due to restrictions induced by the global health crisis. In the face of these challenges, members of Movin’ On have risen to the occasion through hard work, dedication and exceptional determination. Thanks to their extraordinary efforts, the program is set to restore the beloved Penn State tradition with more vivacity than ever before.
The festival is in good hands with Lewis serving as the executive director. Not only has he worked with C3 Presents on some of the most major music festivals in the United States, like Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, his commitment to the true mission of Movin’ On remains steadfast in the face of adversity. He is unflinchingly centered in the core principles of his work, even as the extent and caliber of his professional network continues to grow.
Lewis explained, “at the end of the day, we’re all just doing our jobs. I have a responsibility to produce a safe and enjoyable event for the Penn State community, and the artists have a responsibility to show up and perform. Don’t get me wrong — it’s awesome that our team is able to work with so many celebrity artists, but the real satisfaction lies within the execution of an inclusive and memorable experience for the Penn State community.”
Buckle up, Happy Valley. With the sun shining on our faces and Jack Harlow in our hearts, WE ARE about to embark on the ride of a lifetime.
VALLEY extends its warmest thanks to George Lewis for his gracious contributions to our publication.